Japanese woodworking resources
For my talks at Woodworking in America, I created a document of resources for folks interested in Japanese woodworking. Originally, I was going to provide this as a handout, but in an effort to save trees so we can all have more lumber to use, I created a downloadable PDF file. You can download the list here. I hope you enjoy it.
Report from a planing contest to make Japanese toilet paper
I had a fantastic time at the Kezurou-Kai hosted by Yann Giguère last weekend at his shop, Mokuchi Studio, in Brooklyn, and thanks to Yann for giving me the opportunity to give a talk. It was a terrific experience to be able to talk about Japanese tools to a crowd that was so knowledgeable about them, and to get feedback and engage in a discussion on these tools and their use.
The high point of the Kezurou-Kai was the planing contest, but to characterize this event as being all about gauze-like shavings would be like saying the Woodworking Shows are all about $1 router bits. Sure, $1 router bits are there at the show, and some people go to the Woodworking Shows specifically to buy $1 router bits, but there’s so much more.
The best part of the day was meeting and reconnecting with other folks that were also interested in Japanese tools and woodworking, including (but not limited to) Phil Fuentes, Jay Speetjens, Jim Blauvelt, Harrelson Stanley, and Andrew Hunter. I really hope that Yann is able to make this a regular event. I know that I’ll be in support of it, as well as others who were there.
So what did you miss? Just this.
Yann (left) welcoming the attendees as the day got underway.
Yann demonstrating marking a log for milling and cutting into slabs. Here he’s making kerf cuts in preparation for the next step.
Yann using an axe and a chona to remove waste from a log in the process of establishing a flat face.
Of course, there was a gigantic Japanese plane, called an okanna. Jim brought it along for people to try. Here’s Phil putting it to work, with Jim spotting the shaving, and the shaving that he got.
Yann made the super long nagadai kanna on the right. It’s 29” long, and was specially made for a project that required flattening a particularly long workpiece. For scale, there’s a regular kanna and a regular nagadai kanna next to it.
Yann had said that he planned on cutting down his super long nagadai kanna to a more normal length after that job was done, but never got around to it. Jim took care of that for him as a favor.
Spot the interlopers. (Confession: they’re mine. I brought them as props for my talk.)
Of course, eventually we had the planing contest.
These are the shavings from the folks that participated in the planing contest. There was a surprise entry from the Kimberly-Clark corporation, second from the right, hence the title of this post.
Jay won the planing contest, and won the prize, a 3” wide Tasai chisel with a hammered finish. These pictures can only approximate how wonderful this chisel looks in person.
Afterwards, we enjoyed some terrific ramen at Shinobi Ramen, only one block away from Yann’s shop.
Again, it was an incredibly great day. Here’s hoping it happens again next year.